#50-2-Follow: 50 NT Scholars to Read and Follow—Esau McCaulley

#50-2-Follow: 50 NT Scholars to Read and Follow—Esau McCaulley February 18, 2020

This blog series spotlights 50 NT scholars and their research. The goal of this series is to introduce readers to a wider circle of scholarship than they have encountered before. The majority of people on this list are early or mid-career NT scholars who are doing great research and writing.


Esau McCaulley

Assistant Professor of New Testament

Wheaton College


Explain why you love teaching and/or writing, and why it brings you vocational satisfaction.

I love teaching because I love helping students discover their own joy of studying the Scriptures as one means of encountering the living God. My writing is more of a compulsion. I write (I think) because I have to. It is one tool that I can consistently use to help black Christians in particular find pathways of hope in what can be a dark time.

What is one “big idea,” emphasis, or theme in your scholarship that you hope impacts the way students and scholars read and understand the NT?

I am not sure that I have a revolutionary change in mind. I try to read these texts as best as I can and articulate what I see. I am not really an unbiased scholar hoping to change the ‘field.’ I am a Christian clergy person, a Black Anglican Priest. A mash-up. I guess that from my scholarship I would want black people to know that the Scriptures as written can speak directly to the hopes and dreams of Black Christians. We are no fools for trusting them. I would say to the wider academy that here and there I made us better readers of the text for bringing my insights to the table and offering them to the community for reflection, discussion, and rebuttal.

Who is your academic hero and why?

Sometimes I feel as if I am flying blind, but biblical scholars are not my heroes. My heroes are Frederick Douglas and Martin Luther King Jr. I admire the Scholarship of N.T. Wright and Richard Hays. I admire the work of J. Deotis Roberts as well.

Name 3 NT or Biblical Studies academic books that were formative for you as a student.

Stoney the Road We Trod

Richard Hays, Paul and the Conversion of the Imagination

N.T. Wright, Jesus and the Victory of God

Read McCaulley’s Monograph

Follow McCaulley’s Work Online


FB Page:

 If you ran into me at SBL, and you didn’t want to talk about New Testament studies, what would you want to talk about?

Hip Hop, Sports, and good fiction

What is a research/writing project you are working on right now that you are excited about?

I have two books coming in the next couple of years: Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope (IVP, Nov. 2020) The New Testament in Color: A Multi-ethnic Commentary on the New Testament (edited; IVP, Nov 2021). So, right now I am doing the edits for Reading while Black and working on the Ephesians entry for New Testament in Color.
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